Daily Archives: January 4, 2018

Nigeria Army Says Chibok Girl Rescued

The Nigerian army said Thursday it has rescued one of the girls kidnapped from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram militants nearly four years ago.

The army said on its Twitter feed that troops deployed in the northeastern town of Pulka rescued a girl it identified as Salomi Pagu. Officials said that according to preliminary investigations, Pagu is the same person as the one on a list of girls who were abducted.

The army said Pagu was found in the company of another girl and a child and that all are in safe custody and receiving medical attention.

Boko Haram provoked worldwide outrage when it kidnapped more than 270 girls and young women from a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014. Some of the girls quickly escaped, but 219 remained in the Islamist radical group’s captivity.

A few have since escaped, and negotiations with the government have led to the release of more than 100 others; but, more than 100 of the girls are believed to still be under Boko Haram control.

The group has been fighting the government since 2009 to establish a strict Islamic state in the northern part of the country.

Source: Voice of America

Matric pass a golden ticket for progressed learners

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says the 18 751 progressed learners who passed the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations now have a golden opportunity to access either university or a TVET college.

The learner progression policy encourages provinces to progress or condone over-aged learners who have repeated Grade 11 more than once and give them extra support to sit for the NSC examinations or allow them to modularise their examinations.

In the latter case, progressed learners wrote part of the 2017 NSC examinations in November 2017, and the rest could be written in June 2018, said the Minister, during the release of the 2017 matric results on Thursday.

In 2017 the department had the second largest number of progressed learners, since the policy was promulgated in 2013.

An analysis of the raw data on progressed learners paints an extremely interesting picture, particularly for this year. For the Class of 2017, we had 107 430 registered progressed learners.

A total of 34 011 progressed learners wrote the requisite seven subjects during the 2017 NSC examinations. The rest of the learners are modularising their examinations.

Of the progressed learners who wrote the 2017 NSC examinations, 18 751 passed; which represents 55.1% of all progressed learners, and 4.7% of all learners, who passed the 2017 NSC examinations.

A total of 5.6% achieved Bachelor passes; 25.2% achieved Diploma passes; 24.3% achieved Higher Certificate passes; and 10 achieved NSC passes.

A total of 1 801 distinctions were attained, including distinctions in critical subjects, such as Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Mathematics and Physical Science.

The support provided to progressed learners by provinces is important, particularly for learners who come from poorer communities. You know that affluent communities arrange extra tuition for their children at extra costs. Provinces, on the other hand, go out of their way to provide progressed learners with extra support; and these provinces do without any additional budget, said the Minister.

She thanked all the provinces, especially Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal, for the extra support and pointed interventions they gave to these learners.

If these provinces did not do this, some of the progressed young people, could have fallen through the cracks of the system, due to continuous repetition and ultimate drop-out from the system, Minister Motshekga said.

The Second Chance programme and the learner progression policy were introduced to redress the inequalities of the past, by creating a conduit through which young people could be afforded a second chance in life, rather than adding to the large number of young people who are not in education, are unemployed and not in any form of training.

These programmes were intended to improve the access and retention of learners in the system, and improve the internal efficiency of the system.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Four men sentenced for separate offences committed in the Milnerton area

Comprehensive work by the Milnerton SAPS Serious and Violent Crimes unit led to the conviction and sentencing by the Cape Town Regional Court of three men accused of separate murder offences, and one accused of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The first man, aged 21, was convicted of a murder he had committed in Joe Slovo on Tuesday 14 February 2017. The accused was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment of which two years were suspended for five years, on condition that the he is not convicted of any other violent crime during the period of suspension.

The second man, aged 27, accused of robbery with aggravating circumstances which was committed in Dunoon on Friday 21 April 2017, received a sentence of 10 years imprisonment of which two years were suspended for five years. This on condition that he is not convicted of any crime of which dishonesty and /or violence against the person of another is an element, committed during the period of suspension.

The third man, aged 36, accused of a murder he committed in Dunoon on Monday 04 September 2017, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment of which four years were suspended for a period of five years. This on condition that the accused is not convicted of murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, common assault, robbery, or an attempt thereof, culpable homicide, public violence, the offence of pointing a firearm, air gun, or air pistol or the contravention of any law. The accused may be found guilty of the offence so proved, committed during the period of suspension and to which the accused is sentenced to a term of direct imprisonment without the option of a fine. It was further ordered that in terms of section 103 of Act 60 of 2000 the accused is declared unfit to possess a firearm.

The unit went the extra mile to apprehend the fourth accused, a man aged 45, who, after stabbing his girlfriend to death in Dunoon on 5 July 2014, moved to Eastern Cape permanently. The Serious and Violent Crimes unit managed to trace him and bring the accused back to Cape Town, to face the court. The accused was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment of which five years were suspended for a period of five years, on condition that the accused is not convicted of murder, culpable homicide, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), robbery or attempted robbery. The accused was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with no option of a fine. It was further ordered that in terms of section 103 of Act 60 of 2000 the accused is declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Source: South African Police Service


CANBERRA, The Police Minister from the Australian state of Victoria slammed on Thursday as “embarrassing” comments from the federal Home Affairs Minister that “African gangs” were running riot across Melbourne.

On Wednesday, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton lashed out at the Victorian state government’s relaxed attitude toward a growing problem with “African gangs,” claiming that local residents were scared to leave their houses because of the threat of “violence.”

In recent weeks, concerns have been raised about the rise in prominence of gang violence perpetrated mostly by those of an African appearance, leading some to comment that the Victorian Labor government was not doing enough to punish and deter offenders from committing crimes as part of a “gang.”

But in response to the federal minister’s claims that locals were scared to eat at restaurants, Victoria’s Police Minister Lisa Neville said there was “no evidence” to back up Dutton’s “embarrassing comments.”

“That’s a ridiculous comment, it’s politics at its absolute worst,” Neville told Macquarie radio on Thursday.

“I eat out quite a lot in Geelong and in Melbourne and people are still eating at restaurants.”

The Police Minister admitted that there were some “issues” within some suburban areas, but police were “addressing” the problem swiftly. She said it was inappropriate for a federal minister to comment on an issue he knows little about.

“Do we have issues in some communities? Yes. Are police addressing it? Absolutely. Are they going to get on top of it? Completely,” Neville said.

“At this moment, we have a large number of offenders in custody and they are serving time right now. So police are doing the work they need to do to get on top of this.”

On Wednesday, Dutton – part of the federal Liberal coalition government – described sentences handed down to offenders of African appearance as “a joke.” declaring that the state Labor government was trying to toe a “politically-correct” line.

“The state government has wrapped its police force up in this politically correct conversation … but I think the state government’s really been caught flat-footed,” he said.

State Liberal MP John Pesutto said while Dutton’s words were very strong, there was “clearly anxiety about the prospect of violence” in some of Melbourne’s suburbs.